How to Use Barter to Fill Your Prepping Needs

by Erich

Before currency was even conceived as a means of convenient value exchange, there was barter.

I’m sure all of us at one time or another in our lives have traded something. Basically, we traded something we were willing to give away in exchange for something else we wanted or needed — and both parties (hopefully) felt better off.

That’s bartering — a process of trading goods and services for other goods and services.

So how does barter benefit preppers?

Well, first off, barter is a great way of getting preps if you’re short on funds.

Since it’s not dependent upon currency, it’s a very viable means of value exchange that preppers can take advantage of — if you know how to overcome its disadvantages…

For the most part, barter is bilateral. In other words, two people form an agreement of a mutually beneficial exchange.

The problem with that is, for the exchange of goods or services to occur, each participant must want what the other has. And finding someone who has exactly what you want AND is willing to exchange that thing for what you have to offer can be difficult.

However, there is also a multilateral (or circular) form of barter which can overcome those limitations.

Circular barter allows for a lot more flexibility: A wants what B has; B probably wants what someone else has, and that person in turn probably wants what a fourth person has. Eventually it’s likely that the chain will loop back on itself, so that a circular trade can be arranged.

This “circular barter” used to be only possible with barter organizations but now, with the Internet, there are a number of sites that give you this ability due to the large number of users online.

Here is a list of barter companies — look them up and see which one fits your needs and wants:

  • BarterQuest.com – This is one of my favorites.
  • U-Exchange
  • FreeCycle.org — not exactly a barter site but you can get some good stuff for free that people are throwing out.
  • Itex.com — If you own a small business or you’re a sole proprietor, this is a great barter site for businesses to business barter. You could find plumbers, welders, electricians etc who may barter with your skills/services.
  • Craigslist.com — Craigslist has a great barter category that many don’t know of. This is typically under the “For Sale” section for your area.
  • Multiswap.net — This site is a place where friends can all sign up together to create a trusted barter community. If you’ve got a bunch of like-minded friends and acquaintances, this is a great service to sign up for.

Final Thoughts

Historically barter has always become a method of exchange (even replacing money in some cases) during times of monetary crisis.

With our current economy the way it is, and where the dollar is going, it may very well be a more prominent form of value exchange in the near future.

With that in mind, start getting used to barter now and I would highly recommend you start forming barter organizations either locally or through a circular barter exchange service like Multiswap.net as mentioned above. This way you’ll be way ahead of the game when the economic collapse happens.

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6 Comments»

Comment by Pat
2013-11-25 21:22:22

Develop skills that you can use to barter with. Making cheese, wine, beer or whiskey. Any kind of alcoholic beverage will be of great value. Small engine repair, growing veggies, harvesting firewood, welding, raising livestock, chickens, hunting skills for meat, teaching others how to live off the land. The list of skills is endless. Find what fits you and make it a value to others.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2013-11-25 22:52:17

Great comment Pat. Skill development (especially the trades and “old” skills) will be in big demand should things go south.

 
 
Comment by Sandy
2013-11-26 09:33:38

This is something that I had thought about for a long time. Being a woman, with a child with a medical issue, I’ve naturally developed an interest in nature remedies. I’m learning how to make natural medicines. I grow most of what I am using organically, but am now learning how to identify wild plants that may be used also.

 
Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2013-11-26 11:01:56

That’s fantastic Sandy. Those skills are timeless.

 
Comment by Bill
2013-11-26 13:53:30

our farmer’s market does something similar once the market is over. several of us get together and start haggling for things that we want or need. it is a great way to get the items that the other person doesn’t want to have to drag all the way home again. most of us have more of whatever we are producing than we can use (that’s why we are at the market in the first place!) and hate wasting it. we trade our vegetables for another guy’s meats and someone else’s baked goods or whatever catches our eye that day. there is even someone in our group that does flowers. I know, they aren’t very critical to running a household on, but it is a nice touch to come home with flowers for my wife once in a while. (happy wife=happy life!). Anyways, that’s what we do. it might be worth investigating at your own local market or chamber of commerce.

 
Comment by sean
2013-12-04 07:35:54

Barter happens when economies fail. Other things happen too.
Dont let them know what you have or where its at.
here is some information on privacy. http://goo.gl/SROuOn

 
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